What Zakir Musa's killing means for India

Al-Qaeda Linked Terrorist Zakir Musa Killed in Kashmir Gunfight -Report

Al-Qaeda Linked Terrorist Zakir Musa Killed in Kashmir Gunfight -Report

Officials also claimed Musa was instrumental in instigating violent stone pelting incidents in Srinagar's Jama Masjid area after Friday prayers.

An army source told Mirror that following a tip-off about the presence of top terrorist commanders in the area, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by the Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police, 42 RR of Army and the Central Reserve Police Force.

"Last evening, when we came to know about the gunfight, hundreds of villagers tried to march towards the site but were prevented by the forces", said Ashiq Ahmad, a resident of Dadsara village.

Authorities cut cellular internet services across the Kashmir valley and imposed a curfew in large parts of the territory to stop the protests spreading.

Apprehensive about a potential threat to the law and order situation in Kashmir, the state administration ordered all schools and colleges across the Valley to remain closed on 24 May.

The security forces handed over the body of Zakir Musa to his parents at Noorpora in Tral for last rites. Since the Pulwama attack, around 90 terrorists have been killed in gun-battles with Indian security forces in Kashmir.

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Real name, Zakir Rashid Bhat, Musa was a militant of Hizbul Mujahideen who succeeded Burhan and later headed the Al Qaeda affiliate.

In recent years, the ranks of the militancy have been swelled by Kashmiris, rather than fighters from Pakistan, reflecting a growing disillusionment at the prospect that Delhi will accede to the demands of local politicians for more autonomy for the region, including a referendum on independence. He later floated new terror outfit Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGuH).

He dropped out of his engineering course in 2013 to join Hizbul Mujahideen, Kashmir's largest group fighting Indian rule, and later became part of the group led by charismatic commander Burhan Wani.

Al-Qaeda affiliated Global Islamic Media Front declared Musa as the head of the newly created organization and Al-Qaeda cell in Jammu and Kashmir, Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, on July 27, 2017.

Musa was a close aide of Wani, whose killing in 2016 triggered open defiance against Indian rule. "Most of the Srinagar was under roadblocks, checks and frisking", said Haseeb Mughal, Srinagar senior superintendent of police. One terrorist killed. Terrorist identified as Zakir Musa.

Security forces had to blast a chemist's house where Musa was hiding.

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